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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  March 27, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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hints on how they'll rule on what may be president obama's most significant legislative achievement? savannah, our resident legal eagle, talk about the defense between yesterday and today. yesterday was sort of an argument about an argument. today is really the meat of the thing. >> i was going to say yesterday's the appetizer, today's the meat, main course. yesterday about whether or not the court could hear this case. today is the merits of it. all of the party involved want the parties to solve this on the merit. they don't want to to kick it down to 2015. so we're already seeing the court in the oral arguments this morning, posing pretty tough questions to the government here saying what is the limit? if the government can come in and force you into the stream of commerce, as the way the opponents of lott look at it, where is outer limits of that? couldn't they force you to buy broccoli because it's good for you and go to a gym because it's good for you?
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>> there something wrong with broccoli? >> this is the heart of the issue, what is the limit of the federal government's power? that's clearly what's concerning the conservative justices right now. >> the "wall street journal" has been live blogging this. according to their reports chief justice roberts said if the court approved of the mandate it may be hard to set limitations on what congress can do, all bets are off in terms of limitation. justice kennedy, the swing vote, said the government has a heavy burden of justification regarding the mandate. everybody is going to be reading into what these guys do and what they say and parsing these comments very, very specifically over the next 24 hours, 48 hours. let's talk a little bit the sort of politics of this. and patricia, i want to talk to you first, because this is obviously a applicable football. >> yes. >> it's going to be one for some time to come. i think there are interesting points being made how it may not give resolution or a clear "w" to either side, democrat or
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republican, in -- ahead of the november elections. >> because there are a couple of different scenarios, first the court could uphold a part and who wins coming out of that? even if there were a clear victory in the court if it was struck down who benefits from that? there's a thought among republicans if this is struck down, where does the rational goer to electing republican president? right now almost every rally you hear is, we have to get rid of president obama, we have to get rid of the health care law, repeal the bill, kill the bill, all of that is about electing the next republican president. if that go as way, if the supreme court takes that away, where do republicans go with the strongest argument? i think they can say, well, look ache did last time. we don't want another repeat of that. he'll try to do it again. really, it takes -- >> not going to do it again. >> he's not going to do it again. for democrats if it's upheld a lot still have to carry the burden of the fact this is not a popular bill among the broad section of the public. >> governor, we have a "new york
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times"/cbs poll asking americans what should the supreme court do about the law? overturn the law, 28%. keep the law in place, 26%. this is more telling. same poll, "new york times"/cbs, asking americans do you understand how the law will affect you and your family? no, it's confuse, 48% of the country. yes, i understand, 47% of the country. people don't know. >> yeah. i don't know if you had a chance to watch "morning joe" but joe scarborough said that poll is a more of a result of the spin than it is the substance of the law itself. and you know, i was a prosecutor, i'd love to be able to sit in the living room of every american who answered that poll and cross-examine them a little bit. do you though this is in the bill? do you though this is in the bill? do you know this isn't in the bill? you may have heard it is but it isn't. i think if americans actually sat down and listened to what was in the bill, for them, as individuals, i think they would agree with the bill and first of
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all, people don't understand why there's a mandate. there's a mandate because that's the only way we're going to give people with cancer the right to buy health insurance, with a preexisting illness. we've got to get everybody into the pool itself. if you have a chance to explain it we did a terrible job explaining this bill. >> right. >> i completely agree with that. i think when we think about the idea that we're somehow being forced into the system where we all have to buy health care, we're already paying for health care. we pay for emergency room visits and the administration could have done a better job getting that across. we pay for this already. talk about whether you should centralize just the goals or the cost structure. but it's -- we're paying for this. >> you look at americans and how they sort of -- where they net out on -- as the governor said the specifics of this, keeping children on their parents' health care until they're 26. >> 75%, yes. >> denying americans coverage based on preexisting conditions. these have a lot of support but
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the public done understand how it fits together. >> health care, though, first, some of the provisions have already gone into effect. >> good ones. >> whether people realize it or not. when you look at the health care regulation and the law, i mean, for most people, they get their insurance via employers and the health care law doesn't have much affect on that and may contribute to a lack of understanding on the street what this law does. >> that's a huge issue. that's the comprehensiveness issue. the companies are burdened with this as competing nations don't have that system. >> right. but first of all, people are worried about unintended consequences what are the unknowns of what happens. and i think especially people worried about the prprice of he care even if employers provide it. since it went into effect it's costing them more because insurance companies are raise their rate and there's nothing to control rates. one thing people are worried about, it doesn't have anything to do with politics, it's money
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come ug oing out of their pocke. >> individual mandate connotes force a bill you don't want to have swallow. you want to rewind back to 2008, maybe if they called it responsibility clause or something that connoted we're all in this together, this is about personal responsibility and we're sharing our fate. >> they call it the minimum coverage provision, does that do the trick? i don't know. >> i don't know that's much bet. >> we need to tell americans, again, take a deep breath, there are mandates. you're mandated to pay your taxes. you're mandated to pay into social security. you can't pittsburgh ack and ch. there are mandates in state laws. mandated to have insurance coverage. if i want to drive a car in pennsylvania, i have to have insurance coverage. that's a mandate. >> republicans have not done a good job of saying, if not this, then what? if people -- if there -- >> democrats haven't done a good job. >> you can't have a preexisting condition and be denied, what do
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those people do? do they have to declare bankruptcy. >> we have to say hypothetically this gets knocked down, what happens your plan? they don't have a plan. they have health savings accounts, that's really going work for the person making $19,000. >> almost as good as self-deportation works for gr from the steps of the supreme court, pete williams, just inside for day two of the oral arguments. give a roundup of what happened in the last two hours. >> reporter: i'll do my best. but let me begin at what i think is the relevant point here, which is, it would seem, and it's always very risky to try to predict what the court's going to do based on oral argument, but nonetheless, it would seem at this point in the process that i think it's very doubtful that the court is going to find the health care law constitutional. i don't see five votes to find
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that the law constitutional. here's why i say that. number one, i think we were looking at justice scalia, for example, who in past has been willing to find very broad power for congress. he had nothing 0 good to say about this law and no lifelines to the lawyer for the government who was arguing to uphold this. secondly, justice kennedy who can often be the swing vote here, seemed to have grave concerns about it. he said at one point early on in the argument, this is beyond anything congress has ever done before, as he said to the government lawyer you, have a heavy responsibility to justify it. and it didn't seem, during the two hours that justice kennedy found the justification that he needed. now, here is where i think the disagreement comes. there's this very fundamental disagreement that the defenders of the law say they're not really -- they're not bringing
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people in to regulate them because everyone is in the health care market already. i don't think that satisfied the conservative members of the court. here's an odd point, both side agree you could require people to buy insurance when they show up at the doctor's office or when they show up at the emergency room to get care. they both agree on that. they both said the government could do that because if you're seeking to get health care services, the congress can regulate how you pay for it. what the democrats say what the defenders of the law say, that is well, all we're doing is shifting the time. we're still saying, you have to buy insurance, we're just say you have to buy it earlier. that's where the split is. that's where the conservatives on the court think that that's different, that at that point you're not participating in the health care market so you're forcing people to enter into the stream of commerce and buy something. that's seems to me where the
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distinction is. it's risky to predict if i had to predict today i would say that the law's in trouble. >> thank you, pete. that is certainly big, big news, savannah. a lot of the analysis yesterday and granted, we have no idea what the supreme court will do, but seeing that the individual mandate would be upheld. >> take a look back at this long road we've been on. when these challenges first filed within minutes the health care law passes prepare who were proponents of the law blew them off. legal thinkers didn't think these were serious challenges. if nothing else what pete described happened inside the arguments this is a serious challenge it may be in trouble. a caution, as pete did, oral arguments and hostile questions don't always signal what the court will ultimately do. but it is interesting because he mentioned it justice scalia, in the past, has upheld federal laws and actually written opinions that give a rather expansive rue of the federal government's power.
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scalia has problems. and the larger issue is it doesn't sound like the conservative justices are buying the framing of what this mandate means, that the proponents of the law have put forward, the idea that look we're all in the health care market, whether we pay for it not, therefore there's nothing to see here, regulating the health care economy, which congress can do. it's interesting that justice kennedy, justice scalia, votes that could have been picked up based on prior writings, may not go the way the proponents of the law want them to. >> big, big, day in the supreme court. more on the nation's health care law and its fate as the supreme court goes into -- finishes day two of oral arguments on the affordable care acts individual mandate. ♪
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we are back with the latest from the conclusion of the day two of oral arguments on the affordable care acts individual mandates. very big news coming out of the supreme court. joining the panel now is msnbc contributor and columnist for "the washington post," jonathan capehart. governor rendell, we were discussing in the last block, pete williams who we will go to in a second, he's not a betting man but this thing could get overturned, the individual mandate. what does that mean? you were talking during the break where in the national health care plan might go. >> quickly, ironically, this could pave the way for thing that conservatives hate the most and that's a single payer system. essentially, medicare for everybody.
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and that's the thing the conservatives hate the most. but businesses don't mind it because they're off the hook, he they no longer pay for health care for employees. secondly the idea that john kerry put forward in the '04 campaign, stop loss, where the gfrt ensures any catastrophic care over $50,000 the government pays 75% of it, that levels out and smooths out the cost. let me say one other thing, though, if this gets overturned i think the democratic base is aroused in a way it isn't aroused right now because i think they all of a sudden realize how important supreme court elections are. >> the republican rational if it does get struck down, why should we keep fighting against those? where is the rational? they say the democrats want single payer health care, that's what's coming next. i think therein lies the what's next. what are the politics for the president if this does get struck down and he spent so much
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political capital. what are the politics for mitt romney? he was the root of this when the white house -- >> the godfather, the white house is saying. >> when the white house was looking for what to do, they went to massachusetts for the model. it wasn't politics. they liked the model and decided to pick it up. >> what's the plan b? the politics will be, what will washington do? what's the president going to do? >> if they they don't do anything. >> that's the yes. >> what will they say in the campaign? agree they're not going to do thinking. >> let's go back to pete williams. talking about what happened in the two hours and you had some -- i dare say bombs to throw down in terms of expectations. i understand we're tempering expectations with the understanding what happens in oral arguments may not have any bearing on that ultimate decision. let's talk a little bit how the justices reacting and when you mentioned that the health care -- that everybody -- there
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was agreement about the health care market and everybody agreed when you go and purchase insurance you have to have it, but we were talking about the basic economics of health insurance and fundamentally you have to have folks in the system who are not actually using the services but paying for the insurance. >> reporter: that's a public policy argument. what the supreme court was talking today about is the how the congress fixes that problem and what's constitutional. tom goldstein, who publishes e scotus blog, was in there saw arguments. my impression, tom, the court seems on the edge of saying it's unconstitutional. i didn't count five votes to uphold it. >> i agree. the argument didn't go as horribly as the government wanted but it was worrisome. the government has liberal members on its side, but it was hunting for a fifth vote and it wasn't obvious where that might come from. >> reporter: what did justice kennedy's problem seem to be with the laws, from your
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perception? >> justice kennedy said from the beginning this seems to be quite unprecedented there aren't laws like this that congress has enacted through history and given that, isn't there a special burden to justify it? don't you have to prove, even more than you would? he may have come around, he mused towards the end of the argument a little bit about whether the insurance market might be special enough that the mandate would be constitutional even if other similar laws wouldn't be. >> reporter: there was a lot of talk about that today, what conservatives and opponents of health care law, what the law for states and business group said if we say congress can do this, then congress can do anything. we heard about broccoli today, just scalia said does that mean the government could order you to buy broccoli, to exercise? there were questions from the conservatives about, you know, everybody has to get buried at some point, could the government require everybody to pay a burial fee? so they explored all of those what ifs. i guess, tom, i would ask you,
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did the government lawyer seem to have an answer for why, if they can do this, congress can't just do anything? >> he did. he was prepared for that. it was extremely complicated and it wasn't clear about it was a principle you could say this law is completely different from anything other thing that would be a mandator to individuals. kennedy thought of this as a case of liberty that changed the relationship between the government and citizens, it was compelling them to do things they otherwise wouldn't do. his argument, this ises a question of timing. that everybody agreed the government could make you buy health insurance when you walked into the doctor's office. couldn't you make them do it earlier? that didn't seem to have a lot of traction. >> reporter: i see it, tom and i see it the same way, alex. >> we will be asking you for more views tomorrow on day three, pete williams and tom goldstein, thank you both. i want to close out, sounding a note of caution about extrapolating too, too much from the oral arguments. >> pete williams responsibly
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sounded the same note. i was thinking about the voting rights act case that took place a couple of years ago, the person who was acting solicitor general at time faced very hostile questions from the court. the court went tonight uphold the law. it was 8-1 i think. you never know whether oral arguments are an indicator of what the final outcome will be but i think what tom goldstein says and what pete williams says, it's clear, they're on a hunt for a fifth vote. the usual suspects like kennedy being the swing vote not necessarily there, and scalia who has written things in the past, sure doesn't sound like he's inclined to. >> you don't think this court would make a political decision? >> well, you know what? here's the thing about that. it's happened before, and i'm sure you can cite the case, chapter and verse, but justice roberts has indicated that he is concerned about the cred ibilty of the court. he's an institutionalist and i don't think he would like to see it sharply divided court along
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partisan, ideological lines in a presidential year. i don't think that would do a lot. >> a heck of a job on redistricting cases. >> then again, who knows? >> citizens united? he did a heck of a job on that. >> he's aspiring to. i don't know if he's succeeding. >> thank you for the expertise. hope to see you soon. the debate over health care heats up on the campaign trail. one person saying silent about the supreme court arguments is mitt romney. mitt romney ain't taking the bait, next on "now." ♪ when your chain of supply goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that hurry up no time flat
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creamy, dreamy peanut butter taste in a tempting new cereal. mmm! [ female announcer ] new multi-grain cheerios peanut butter. i get my cancer medications through the mail. now washington, they're looking at shutting down post offices coast to coast. closing plants is not the answer. they want to cut 100,000 jobs. it's gonna cost us more, and the service is gonna be less. we could lose clientele because of increased mailing times. the ripple effect is going to be devastating. congress created the problem. and if our legislators get on the ball, they can make the right decisions. we are back with latest on the great health care debate on the heels of the supreme court finishing up two hours of oral argument on day two. jonathan capehart, this is an
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uncomfortable situation if an uncomfortable backdrop for mitt romney. >> poor mitt romney, as the administration said, he's the go father of obama care, the phrase they adopting, rightfully so, why not own it? this is one issue that has galvanized the republican party that has galvanized the republican base and what's driving people to polls. and the man who is the -- literally the architect of that health care plan is the person who is by delegate count probably going to become their nominee. >> rick santorum is, you know, the rest 0 the party's making hay out of this, rick santorum on the steps of the supreme court, michele bachmann was there a few hours ago. they're not letting this go. >> they shouldn't. listen, that's good politics. this is the genesis of the tea party movement. this is where all of the anger came from arc among the republican base and the not republican base, people getting into politics for the first time, livid about the health care bill. and to stay on the side lines the way mitt romney is reinforces why the base doesn't trust him. because he was the architect of this. if you go through the white house slugs, members of the
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romney administration going into the obama administration white house to tell them this is how we did it. there's no way of running away with this. he worked on ted kennedy on it. he can't run away fast enough but he's never able to do. >> we'll be back with more on the horse race and how the candidates are zeroing in on health care, the economy, and more as well as president obama's open mike comments to russia's president medvedev next on "now." [ male announcer ] what can you do with plain white rice?
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oh. let's go. from the crack, off the backboard. [ laughs ] dad! [ laughs ] whoo! oh! you're up! oh! oh! so close! now where were we? ok, this one's good for two. score! [ male announcer ] share what you love with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes. they're gr-r-eat! the reason that i talk about obama care and its impact on the economy and on fundamental freedoms and mitt romney doesn't, it's because he can't because he supported government-run health care as government of ha ma. >> i'm not going to worry what rick is saying these days. i know when you fall further and further behind you, get more animated. >> that was rick santorum and
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mitt romney go back and forth over the health insurance mandate that romney enacted while serving as governor of ma m. it is political football season and supreme court season. it all works out quite well. let's talk about rick santorum and newt gingrich. rona, newt gingrich, i love talking about newt gingrich, and i worry that my time talking about newt gingrich may be coming to a close. we know that he's now charging supporters $50 a photograph. i will tell you something, i have been at an event with ron paul who patiently took a photo by my count hundreds of supporters and charged no fee and is not doing, in terms of war chest, that much better than newt gingrich. but could this be the end of our time with newt gingrich as a presidential candidate? >> sad as it is to say for all of us, it is the end of his time. $50 is a great stimulus plan. with him out of the way and with santorum out of wait soon we can
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start talking about the real issues. going back to romney and health care, i'm amazed i think he has nothing to be ashamed about. i can see why he's staying quiet to appeal to that base of the party. but frankly, you know, health care's an issue we have to tackle. it's a competitiveness issue. when i'm talking to business they will put this out there, they can't come out and say yes we want to get rid of the private system and they'll put it out there as a huge issue to be dealt with. either countries don't have this burden on this companies and we have to start talking about it. >> governor, in terms of rick santorum and his chances going forward, talking about a contested convention, what is your thinking on that at this point? rick santorum? >> well, i don't mean -- >> not a lot of thinking? >> i don't mean to correct governor romney who i have respect for, as rick falls further behind, he gets animated. rick's always animated. >> right. >> there's no ifs, ands, buts about that. look, i think rick santorum, we said it saturday when i was on
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with you, i think rick santorum has done incredibly well. when you think of rick santorum's chances two days before iowa to think that he's still around, he's won 11 states, he has established himself as a potential 2016 front-runner if romney loses to president obama. what he should do now is play the good guy, still stick up for his principles, maybe go to the convention but be supportive and be the good guy to leave everyone with a good taste in their mouth. what's happening now, people are beginning to think they're seeing the agitated rick, the's not a guy to look to in the future. >> for as much as we some in the media dismissing rick santorum's chances of becoming a hnominee, romney is carpet bombing him. team romney, spent $3.1 million, team santorum, including the super pac, spent $345,000,
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that's a rough estimate, 9-1 carpet bombing ratio. >> i think it's fascinating. there's a quirk in wisconsin that recall effort of the governor is so swamping the airwaves that romney will be lucky to get any real exposure in that state with all of that money that he's buying, all of the tv he's buying with his money. it shows the lesson he learned from the last time that he ran and the time he ran against kennedy, you to go in there full throttle 100% of the time until you lock it up. doesn't matter he's been full throttle the whole time. the money has masked the deep problem his has with republicans, even to the extent we don't fully appreciate how much republicans aren't that excited about him. >> we discussed this on alex's problems before, those deep problems are in the primary. he's going to win southern states versus barack obama. he has less problems in the general, ironically, than the primary.
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>> the health care, what happens with health care will throw an interesting question mark into the mix. i do want to talk a little bit about president obama versus the team romney on messaging, specifically as it related to president obama's hot mike comments on dmitry medvedev -- so hard to say that name every time -- i'm trying, russians who are watching. interesting turn of events, mitt romney going really hard at the president and really hard at the russians saying that they are geopolitical arch enemies effectively, pushback from the russians and from speaker john boehner, which is not something you usually see. let's play that sound from this morning. >> clearly, the president is overseas, he's at a conference, and you know, while the president's overseas i think it's appropriate that people not be critical of him or of our country. >> jonathan, i was, yes, it was
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a moment. >> this is great. this is what you hope your leaders would do. john boehner, right there, is a statesman in an institution that lacks statesmen. president has gone overseas many times before and has been criticized by republicans, and i think you know, yes, the president got caught on a hot mike for i guess like the second or third time, politicians get caught on hot mikes all the time. i'm not exactly certain that what the president said was uncomfortable, you know i'm sure -- especially folks in the administration would not -- would love to have that done over again. but that's not a time to club the president like a baby seal over something like this. he's overseas, supports the president -- >> baby seal? >> and practically speaking in terms of geopolitics, antagonizing and the way that mitt romney has both china and russia would seem to not be the most prudent line of -- not attack but not prudent at all.
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in fact, medvedev said, romney's remark smells of hollywood and certain times of the past. >> yeah, but in both cases not smart. a few facts, russia is not our biggest geopolitical problem. it's a beleaguered nation. putin's propped up by high oil prices, theme minute they fall he'll probably be out of it. china's a bigger deal. it's a very important issue. china's in the middle of a political fiasco now that we hear a little bit here. a leadership changeover, there's a lot of conflict, people thrown in jail. they're very sensitive. they have to push back hard when they hear this talk from us. so it's delicate. >> maybe john boehner knew that. it was a surprising remark, because the republicans have been lock step about antagonize, never agree, you know, you can say obstructionist vis-a-vis the white house and you have the speaker of the house saying
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maybe that wasn't a good idea. >> that's who john boehner is. that's reflect inof his personality. that's why the tea party members haven't been excited about his speakersh speakership. he doesn't take every opportunity to embarrass the president. average americans see the moment, they say there's a man i can be proud of. >> you can't be proud of him because he falls like an acco accordion when his caucus gets on his back. >> in three day he may be retracting that statement. >> very good point. >> shades of the grand bargain maybe on the table and boehner had to walk it back. this was a very good -- >> let's isolate this moment and give it to john bayne. >> we will, for today. after the break, cuba welcomes the pope as it welcomes a new infusion of capital itch. we will look at the key changes reshaping the nation when nbc's andrea mitchell joins us live from havana. ok! who gets occasional constipation,
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right now, the pope is en route to havana where he will meet with president castro and possibly his brother fi dell. the pope called for a renewed and open society in cube away the remarks focused on the oppressive forces of financial markets and american aggression. joining us from havana, cuba, nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent and host, of course, of msnbc's "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchel. an honor to have you on this program. >> reporter: it's great for me to be with you. it's wonderful to be in cuba. this is an exciting moment, alex. >> it is an exciting moment. tell us a little bit about sort of the role of the catholic church in cuba now and sort of the weight of pope benedict's remarks. >> reporter: it's been
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fascinating for decades atheism was the official government position and religions had no legal standing here. and this is not as predominantly catholic a country as most of the rest of latin america. only 10% of cubans are actually observant catholics. but the -- since the last papal visit, 14 years ago, and of course john paul ii, there has been an increasing power and strength of the church, the vatican has had increasing influence because of the cardinal here, cardinal ortega in havana, and he's playing a much more important role in promoting political reform. he actually had an unprecedented conversation and negotiation with raul castro in negotiating for the release of 130 political prisoners about it's a kcareful role for the vatican. they push but not agrgressively
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and that causes them to be criticized by both sides. >> talk about the role of the government. there's a change of power from fidel to raoul and in november cubans will be granted the right to sell property, home, cars, et cetera. that would seem to be a very big deal. how -- what is the mood on the street? how are cubans sort of embracing this? >> reporter: there is a new openness and clearly the economic reforms are possibly and partly because of the global economic crisis. and largely the trade embargo with the united states which has really hurt cuba so terribly for half a century. raul is opening the economy gradually. it's a very gradual process. it's not filtering down to all cubans yet. it is stage by stage. part of the opening is the new role with the vatican and, as i say, it's step by step. certainly not as great in terms of the reforms as a lot of
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cuban-americans would like and it's not really going to be possible until there's a change in american policy as well. the big change, of course, since the last visit by a pope here 14 years ago is that there's a large delegation, hundreds of cuban-americans, many from miami have come with archbishop from the miami diocese and he's going to be my guest in the next hour. they are coming more openly because of the expatriots are much thinking differently, i think about the island. as we've seen some reforms here and as generations change. >> i was in havana a while ago but what struck me is that given all of the embargoes and the difficulty in terms of communication, lack of internet access, cubans found a way to get that information and connect with each other. and just anecdotally in terms of what you've seen since you've been down there and cuban attitudes towards america, have they changed? what have you gathered in conversations thus far?
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>> reporter: you know, i first came here in 1999, in the height of the el el ian gonzalez prote. with all of the angers, we were covering the protests, cubans love people, love contact with america and of course i think i heard ed rendell say maybe that was the voice of the government there on your set. >> baseball. >> baseball is the national pastime here. we went out and we're going to show the oldest living retired major league baseball player. he's going to be 101 next month. he lives here in havana, returned to his native country after playing for, would you believe, the washington senators here in the 1950s. he tells us how he pitched against joe dimaggio and mickey mantle and ted williams who hit two home runs off of him.
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he met babe ruth. major league baseball, the players union approved his $10,000 a year pension but he cannot get that pension payment because of the trade embargo. go figure. >> you're beaming when the word "baseball" was mentioned. >> the way to cement relations back with cuban america was to put a pro baseball team in havana. i think it would do very, very well. it would be incredible. and it it would bring the two nations together, back together again unbelievably. >> reporter: well, you know something, governor? the college teams are going to play here again this summer. the baltimore orioles have played here in the past. i was here when fidel castro threw the opening pitch at a game observed by jimmy carter when president carter came in 2001 and that was a big human rights trip by former president carter. there have been connects. there is a new open, relaxation by the obama white house, of some of the travel rules so
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tourists groups culturally connected can come, we've met with students and interviewed them here. but this was a crackdown during the george w. bush white house and of course i'm told the -- until congress lifts the helms burton law put in place under bill clinton after a terrible incident where cuba shot down some miami jets from brothers to the rescue and anti-castro incursion against their airspace shout down by migs, after that congress incorporated the trade embargo so it cannot be lifted by executive action by any new white house, and that's the main impediment. as long as you have very strong cuban-american members of congress in both the house and the senate, democrat and republican, that is not likely to change. >> andrea, a fascinating city and a fascinating time for cubans and cuban-americans and americans and cubans. it is a great pleasure to speak
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with you. thank you for your time. andrea will be back at top of the hour with "andrea mitchell reports" here on msnbc. coming up, linsanity meet timsanity. two of the most public about their christianity. now both in a new york city. we will take a look where the stars might cross paths next in what now. [ male announcer ] if you believe the mayan calendar, on december 21st, polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space, which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd and you still need to retire, td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. we'll even throw in up to $600 when you open a new account or roll over an old 401(k). so who's in control now, mayans?
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this is "now." >> you should do the intro. time for "what now?" who has the better handle on the tweeter, republicans or democrats? gop is better getting their message out in 140 characters or less. patricia, i go to you, capital tweets study find 88% of the house used twitter in 2008, 38 members of congress. overall, the republican are killing it on the twitter
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machine compared to democrats. tweet level rankings, popularity, number one, john mccain, number two, john boehner, three, jim demint, four, bernie sanders. five, nancy pelosi. >> you can see republican members on the house floor and the senate floor, they're updating twitter feeds. they see it as a great way to get through their constituents with the exception of john mccain that the republican caucus is younger than the democrat caucus. there are new members that have come in. the tea party group a lot of the freshmen didn't have a lot of money to compete. they couldn't compete the old fashioned way, weren't buying tv ads they were on twit somewhere facebook. it's the best tool in politics and it's free. if you've come out of a race you're going to on on twitter and you're prob le a republican. >> they're tweeting on the floor of congress. i want to see a line of political gridlock and tweets
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see if they're correlated. >> it's about messaging, too, right? republicans are very good at having these you know sound bite packaged talking points. that didn't make sense. talking points packaged for sound bites. >> when i joined twitter, kicking and screaming, but happy i did it one of the first people to follow me, john boehner. >> congratulations. >> i was very surprised by that. i wasn't even at 500 and whoa, john boehner's following me, i guess i'll follow him. >> 80% of the tweets that they send out are written by frank lance. >> they have more money for staff and staff do run their twitter feeds. john mccain, exception to the rule, writes his own. >> tim tebow a new york jet. the two most talked about christian athletes the other being jeremy lin play in the city formerly known as saddam on the hudson. not commentening than moniker
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for the fair city, it is worth noting that jeremy lin and tim tebow both avowed christians. is that a big deal? it's i big deal in the sense we're talking about it openly and it's not a weird, quirky idea. this is something that's a part of them. it's very much a part of tim teb tebow. we all about it. jeremy lin reserved about his christianity and the only reason we know about it it's been part of the linsanity coverage. i don't think it's anything extraordinary. >> i wonder how they're going to like it here. i worth noting i have to say jeremy lin linjured last night. >> she's here all week. >> thanks to rana, governor rendell, patricia, jonathan. see you back here noon eastern.
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unlike randy. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate. now a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports" live from havana. the supreme court has just finished hearing arguments on the heart of the matter, can the government mandate health insurance? and it appear from today's argument, that the president's landmark law could be in trouble. we're live the supreme court. here in havana, pope benedict xvi arriving aat the airport at any moment. tens of thousands turns out for his mass last night, cuba's second large st city. president obama laughs off his microphone mishap. >> first of all, are the mikes on? his republican rivals bounced but you'll never guess who's coming to the president's defense. d

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